Fred Berndt takes pride in Camden. In order to “help heal the wounds in our community” he sets out on a weekly basis to clean up trash on our streets. It also gives him a chance to talk with and get to know neighbors. He knows a clean neighborhood gives folks pride in our community.
The Camden News asked Fred why he does it – here’s his response:
“We live in a great city that has gone through much turmoil in the last two years with the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and the resulting riots, looting, loss of police, and loss of public services. The city has lost family-run businesses since the confines of COVID. All the pressures that our city endured, and still do, made me want to take action to do a small part for my neighborhood. I examined what would be the best course of action. Since I have been working in health care, I am looking at the city of Minneapolis as a whole.
The city is not out of the woods – yet – we desperately need our leaders to take action to strengthen the bonds between its leaders and its citizens so we all can work and play in harmony without being afraid to leave our homes.
I don’t live in a rich neighborhood. One small thing that I can do to create a difference on how Folwell is viewed is by picking up litter on the sidewalks and streets. I bought a home here in 2017, and there have been many homes being built and remodeled to create a family safe environment for low-income or medium-income citizens. By picking up litter and being a steward to the community, I am promoting the growth and doing my best to have people come out of their homes and get to know their neighbors, get to know the neighborhood, root out the bad, and promote goodwill towards others by cleaning it up.
I started picking up litter when I broke my foot and was only able to be on the foot about an hour a day a couple months back. I was walking from block to block, and now that the healing has been progressing I am going from street to street from Fremont to Penn, from Lowry to Dowling when I have time. (I am back at work full time and in Saint Mary’s to get a degree in Healthcare Management.)
I have met many folks while doing this, some come out of their homes and thank me, and some stop while driving to thank me. It has been a positive experience for me and I hope that others can join me in cleaning up the litter, promote drivers to slow down on streets for our children’s safety, promote diversity by getting to know your neighbors whatever their background, and improve the quality and relationships that we have in the community and the earth.”
Folks in our Camden Community thank you Fred for your altruistic deeds!